The Waste Land is a highly influential 433-line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot. It is perhaps the most famous and most written-about long poem of the 20th century, dealing with the decline of civilization and the impossibility of recovering meaning in life. Despite the alleged obscurity of the poem, its shifts between satire and prophecy, its abrupt and unannounced changes of speaker, location and time, its elegiac but intimidating summoning up of a vast and dissonant range of cultures and literatures, the poem has nonetheless become a familiar touchstone of modern literature. Among its famous phrases are "April is the cruelest month" (its first line); "I will show you fear in a handful of dust"; and "Shantih shantih shantih" (its last line). The title is sometimes mistakenly written as "The Wasteland". (Summary from wikipedia.org)
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